I awoke at the Westin Hotel in Los Angeles, California in a foul mood. I wanted to celebrate Easter day watching my boys hunt for Easter eggs, going to church, and eating a rib roast and potato salad for dinner.
Instead, I ate a quick breakfast, then got on the van to the airport. I was going to work. In the airline industry, seniority is everything. And as a junior pilot I was required to work many weekends and holidays.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved flying airplanes, and enjoyed being part of the team that got the big bird from Point A to Point B. Normally I would be looking forward to my trip to San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico. But as I rode along the moving sidewalk to my jet, I felt sad and alone. All I could think of was my boys in their pajamas finding colorful eggs hidden around the house.
As a co-pilot, it was my job to walk around the jet to get it ready to take off. I started with my preflight inspection, powering up the electrical and hydraulic systems, and air conditioning. Then I walked down the jet stairs to do the exterior safety inspection.
I ducked into the nose landing gear well to have a look around. That’s when I saw a message that filled me up with joy: He is Risen!
Some unknown person, perhaps a mechanic or ramper, had used something to scratch the message in the undercarriage of the airplane. Suddenly I no longer felt alone.
I never had to work another Easter for the rest of my career. But every year I remember the message I found in the dirt and the joy that filled me that Easter Sunday. He is risen!